NBA, Josh, Rudy Gobert Utah Jazz discussed on Slate's Hang Up and Listen
Well I guess maybe March eleventh is the day that sports came to a halt in America and across the world Joining me not from our studio from his home in DC were separated geographically but not in spirit. It's Stephan fats. Us AUTHOR OF THE BOOKS WORD. Freak and a few seconds of panic Stephan. Hi Josh and joining us from Palo Alto. It's late staff writer host slow-burn season three Joel Anderson. Hello Joel Good morning you know. We're all assembled here for the obvious reason that there will soon be no sports to talk about so maybe we should chat about them now while we can the NBA suspended. Its season on Wednesday nights after a Rudy Gobert Utah Jazz tested positive for the corona virus. We learned on Thursday that his teammate. Donald Mitchell had also tested positive We should stipulate From the top Stephan that we are recording this on Thursday morning. News of League suspensions postponements cancellations are coming in as we're recording this and so all the information where sharing here might be out of date by the time you listen to this but can you just run through what we know right. Now as we're recording sure Josh I have to say that the scenes late last night as the Rudy. Gobert situation unfolded were to me among the most dramatic news themes in sports. I don't know going back to Magic. Johnson's press conference when he announced that he had HIV. I mean it was stunning from a what would you bomb the NBA suspending season which sorta capped off this czar scene in Oklahoma City? Where this game was about to start between the jazz and the thunder and Dr runs onto the court and they confer with the referees. Chris Paul runs over to the jazz and asked. If there's something wrong with rudy go bear and they sort of push him away. The players leave the court though stadium. Announcer orders everyone to leave. It was just a stunning. If not in retrospect you know twelve. Later retrospect entirely surprising turn of events. So what do we know We know that Donovan Mitchell as you said has tested positive we know the NBA is on an indefinite hiatus. We know that other players are beginning to be reported to have to have corona virus. Not Just Mitchell player on you Venice in Italy a player on the German soccer club. Hanover have tested positive players. On Lester in England are reportedly showing symptoms Rail Madrid players are in quarantine. This is just GonNa be a daily flow of news and Events and it certainly if it wasn't already dramatic and apparent when you start hearing that athletes testing positive for celebrities are testing positive. Like Tom Hanks. It becomes all the more more frightening. And and newsworthy. Yeah I agree and I think Rudy. Gobert is in in this way sort of the perfect snapshot of the Collective American response to Corona Virus. Because it was a couple of days ago the video emerges of him at this press conference. He jokingly touches the reporter's recorders touches the Mike breeze over them before he walks off the set and then two days later. He's either right at the center of the NBA's you know pretty much unprecedented shutdown. And I think it is a testament to how quickly we got a grasp of how serious this is now. Obviously people far outside of sports that are dealing with much more serious implications for Kobe. Nineteen but I think it really took with the NBA did last night. It was actually within a span of thirty five minutes like the world fell apart in that way because yet trump's address you had the Rudy Gobert news yet the NBA suspending season. Like all of this torrent of news came at once and it was just you could see Americans a lot of the for the first time getting their head around how serious this is. And how disruptive it's going to be like because I think that a lot of people thought. Oh we'll we'll still have sports to lean on. We'll still have hope. Tv content to get us through this time and not that much will change. I'll have to make a few adjustments in wash my hands but it won't necessarily mean a change of lifestyle habits for me in. You could just see within that half hour last night which would have been not o'clock out on the east. Six o'clock out here that everybody just kind of got a hold of themselves like Oh wow like this is going to be one of the most disruptive moments in American history. So we've been talking for the last couple of weeks about this and I think our conversations have paralleled the larger discourse where we initially are talking about it. We're like you know looking back to nineteen eighteen for examples and seems really far away and hard to imagine what it could possibly be like then when we talked about it earlier this week. The kind of new reality that we're dealing with is oh. Lebron doesn't realize we're GONNA need to play without fans but he'll get on board. We're all sort of realizing that and then fast forward forty eight hours later and we're the ones who seem naive. It's like obviously this is what was gonNA happen because it only takes one person in the entire universe of people involved in this league. Players coaches writers referees. If anybody test positive for this virus there is going to be a shutdown and it seems ridiculous that it didn't occur to us at the time but I think it is. It does take a player. You know testing positive for us to realize the extent of this and First Sports. I think to understand that. There's nothing special about being a pro league that millions of people watch and follow and that you know where twenty thousand people will come out to games that actually puts people more at risk rather than having it be special and requiring some sort of special dispensation that sports should be exempt and I think you know for savvy as we think that we are. I think we were all kind of their even. If we didn't think we were until Wednesday night. Yeah I think that's right josh. Because you know we were talking about the hypocrisy of the Ivy League. For instance taking dramatic step of cancelling. It's a playoff tournament. It's conference tournament but allowing the to declare champions to travel to play in the NCAA's which was right. The problem was we didn't say well they shouldn't be playing the NCAA and in front of no fans in front of any fans or you know at all was the at all that we were missing Some writers were picking up on it as you know from Tuesday and Wednesday. Chris Mannix a sports illustrated had a piece talking about how the NBA and he specifically said this the NBA. If it has a patient zero they're gonNA have to shut this down and that's exactly what happened and who looks really naive now as we talk. It's every event in every league. That hasn't shut it down. You Know Major League Baseball as of right now is still deliberating what to do. Should we play in Florida or Zona? Well we'd rather play in in Major League ballparks and not in other facilities Kenny Rosenthal is reporting for the athletic on Thursday morning these decisions are all going to be taken out of these leagues hands. I mean the NHL for instance has now also been sort of Brazil right. Now we're consulting and we don't know what to do. They cancelled morning skates on Thursday but didn't take any more serious action. I mean what's really incredibly naive is to consider that forty eight hours ago. The question that was being discussed in sports was a collective action by some of the League's to bar reporters from locker rooms. So yeah right absolutely I mean the thing is you could argue that even the pro leagues were being more thoughtful about this than a lot of the college in in Sub Professional Leagues. By the time. We're done recording this podcast. Things could have changed but the XFL hasn't necessarily said that they're gonNA do Cancel Games there. There were college basketball games going on last night while the country is in full blown panic. Acc Basketball Tournament said that they were planning on still holding games today in front of you know limited limited audience and so one thing sort of occurred to me is that the people with the lease labor protections of big time. Sports is still out there playing and you get a sense for how reckless organizations of people are willing to be if they can assert their labor the Labor protections right. And I'm not you know there's no reason why the NC double a. or these colleges say. Hey look we might as well just shut things down..